America’s largest township has partnered with Mount Sinai South Nassau to officially launch New York State’s first-ever COVID-19 Mobile Vaccination Unit.
Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin today unveiled the on-the-go inoculation facility, known benevolently as the “Vaxmobile,” at the Uniondale-Hempstead Senior Center, which serves two communities of Hempstead Town that were among the hardest hit by the pandemic.
At the announcement, Mount Sinai South Nassau staff began vaccinating 100 residents with the Johnson & Johnson, single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. Clavin was joined in this public health announcement by the Hempstead Town Board and Dr. Adhi Sharma, Chief Medical Officer of Mount Sinai South Nassau.
“This is truly a historic day in the Town of Hempstead, and we are proud to join our friends at Mount Sinai South Nassau to unveil the first COVID-19 mobile vaccination unit in New York State and only the second in the entire country,” stated Clavin. “Our town provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal CARES funding toward the purchase of this ‘Vaxmobile,’ which will be deployed to different communities throughout America’s largest township with a focus on our most vulnerable population. The COVID-19 vaccine is imperative in helping us prevent the spread of this virus, keeping our residents safe and returning to a sense of normalcy here in the Town of Hempstead.”
Fully stocked and ready to hit the road, the Vaxmobile will shatter the transportation, language and technological barriers associated with the vaccination distribution process. With a mission to deliver single-dose vaccinations directly into the hardest-hit communities, the unit will serve as a substantial catalyst to the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines.
The Vaxmobile was financed with federal CARES Act funding that was distributed to Hempstead Town, to be used to assist town businesses, organizations and residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Town of Hempstead has allocated more than a million dollars to Mount Sinai South Nassau during the pandemic to secure this mobile unit, as well as for COVID-19 testing and helping to reimburse unbudgeted expenses over the past year.
“Supervisor Clavin and the Town Board recognized last year the importance of having a mobile unit. They had the vision to approve purchase of this vehicle back when vaccines were still in very short supply,” said Richard J. Murphy, president and CEO of Mount Sinai South Nassau. “As a result of their foresight and action, we are now in a strong position to help the community. The Town has been a solid partner in our fight to stop the spread of the virus. We appreciate its leadership and willingness to fund and join us in this important public health effort.”
The 50-foot vehicle, an International Durastar 4400, was previously used as a mobile command center and was purchased from Mission Mobile Medical, a North Carolina-based mobile medical company, with funds allocated by Hempstead Town. During the past two weeks, Mount Sinai South Nassau tested the Vaxmobile by distributing more than 400 J&J vaccines to Hempstead Town residents in a drive-thru setting.
The soft launch, conducted at Mount Sinai South Nassau’s Oceanside campus and in Baldwin, tested the unit’s IT and other systems. In the upcoming weeks, the mobile testing unit will be traveling to various locations throughout the Town of Hempstead, saving lives one arm at a time. The Vaxmobile schedule will be determined by vaccine supply and availability.